Why does leaf nitrogen decline within tree canopies less rapidly than light? An explanation from optimization subject to a lower bound on leaf mass per area
A long-established theoretical result states that, for a given total canopy nitrogen (N) content, canopy photosynthesis is maximized when the within-canopy gradient in leaf N per unit area (Na) is equal to the light gradient. However, it is widely observed that Na declines less rapidly than light in real plant canopies. Here we show that this general observation can be explained by optimal leaf acclimation to light subject to a lower-bound constraint on the leaf mass per area (ma). Using a...[Show more]
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